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Midlife Mouth

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  • There are few people who are as fastidious with their health as our patient.  Despite her dedication to staying fit and healthy, and attending the dentist regularly, she found her teeth aging at an accelerated rate. The deterioration was concerning and she didn’t know why.

On the surface the teeth looked quite nice.  However a closer looked revealed a lot of lifestyle damage.  Dr Andrea Shepperson diagnosed dental erosion – acid attack that dissolves tooth enamel.  The culprit – lemon juice in hot water, used as a health tonic and consumed daily.

How Does Lemon Juice Attack Teeth?

Citric acid, the potent acid in lemons and most citrus fruit, bonds to calcium in tooth enamel and dissolves it.  Some of the signs can be:

  • A gradual yellowing of teeth.
  • Loss of very thin enamel at the gum line and resulting sensitivity.
  • Hollows and potholes forming on the biting edges or surfaces on teeth.
  • A glossy look to teeth with loss of their texture.
  • Teeth becoming very transparent.

Once enamel is lost it can only be replaced artificially.  This results in significant reconstruction treatment and costs using tooth colored dental materials.

The Solution

Our primary goal was to repair damage caused by lemon juice.  This involved rebuilding worn shapes and restoring the worn bite. We lifted the colour, adding whiter shades back again.  At the same time as we placed protective artificial enamel, we enhanced Amanda’s natural beauty, using a blend of engineering, biology and art to manage both a bite reconstruction and a smile makeover.

before
after

Yellow, acid damaged teeth were restored to natural shapes with enhanced colors using porcelain veneers and crowns.

There is a lot of discussion about the digestive benefits of lemon juice and the benefits of getting a dose of Vitamin C.  How do we stay healthy without harming our teeth?

Our best advice is to limit your intake and have lemon juice in water with other food. This will help to neutralize the acid, and stimulate saliva to repair teeth damaged in a transient way.  Some people drink it through a straw so teeth are not coated in solution.

The key is also to give your teeth a rest.  Avoid sipping on acidic drinks, such as lemon juice in water, throughout the day,  don’t add it to water bottles.

Use a small dose of Tooth Mousse to boost calcium levels quickly and elevate the pH of the mouth.

Rinse with soda water – full of neutralizing bicarbonate after drinking lemon juice in water. It is cheap and available.  If you have a high pH mouthwash, it’s fine to use this too.  Your dentist can advise on suitable products to use.

We Used Digital Smile Design to Plan This Case.

Digital Smile Design is a powerful planning tool, using digital technology, that creates smiles that look real – true emotional dentistry that allows our patients to feel that their smile is a reflection of their personality.